I will admit, back in my pre-AIP days I was a total coffee addict. I loved my coffee! I had a cup every morning, nice and strong with full fat cream, honey and a dash of cinnamon. Delicious! I enjoyed going to Starbucks with friends and I enjoyed Espresso just as much. The day I started AIP and gave up coffee was absurdly difficult. I switched out my trusty cup of coffee for tea and I have yet to go back.
It seems silly that one little beverage can be such a strong sticking point for so many people but when you think about how big a role coffee plays in the routine and social life of so many people it begins to become clear why so many people shy away from eliminating it.
Is it possible to be successful on AIP and still enjoy one cup of coffee a day? I get asked this question a lot. I mean it is just one little adjustment, how big of a difference can that actually make? Well, maybe if you understand the logic behind the loss it will ease the bitterness (pun intended).
In this post by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne she explains the drawbacks of coffee consumption that have led to its elimination in the autoimmune protocol. First, coffee comes from a seed, the pit of the coffee fruit. This is a cause for concern, seeing as many seeds contain compounds, meant to keep the seed intact, that are harmful to the lining of the gut. Second, coffee stimulates the release of the hormone cholecystokinin (CKK) which stimulates the release of bile from the gallbladder. In a healthy individual this isn’t likely to cause too many problems, but in an individual with deficiencies in gallbladder function this can cause heartburn, digestive upset and damage to the lining of the intestines. Third, caffeine of any sort (in coffee, tea, chocolate…) increases cortisol production. Excessive cortisol can lead to a ton of health problems including an overactive immune system (detrimental to autoimmune disease sufferers), disruption of sleep, and disruption of digestion. Finally, some studies have shown that even in healthy individuals, there is a correlation between coffee consumption and increased inflammatory markers in the blood.
So, you see that in order to allow the gut to heal and the hormones to regulate so that you can be well on your way to managing your autoimmune disease, giving up coffee is, unfortunately, necessary. That isn’t to say you won’t be able to enjoy it later on in the future but it does need to be eliminated initially.
So how can you break the habit while still enjoying the comfort of a warm, full flavored beverage in the morning? Why AIP “coffee” of course! This recipe combines the earthy and bitter flavors of roasted chicory, dandelion root, and carob with the subtle sweetness of dates to create an absolutely amazing coffee substitute that is seed and caffeine free.
What makes this recipe even more special is that it is a special preview from a brand new AIP cookbook on the market right now : 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts. This e-book is entirely dedicated to answering the question “what can I eat for breakfast on AIP?”. It can be incredibly daunting to have to give up eggs, dairy and grains and then turn around and come up with a satisfying breakfast idea, this book makes it easy. It was a collaborative effort, headed up by Eileen over at Phoenix Helix, which includes recipes by myself Dora Siah of Provincial Paleo and many more of your favorite AIP bloggers. If you like this herbal coffee recipe I highly encourage you to click HERE and check out the 84 other recipes waiting to be enjoyed in this book!
Do you/did you drink coffee every day? Did you drink it for the taste, the caffeine or both?
Herbal “Coffee” (AIP)
Makes 2 Servings
1 TBS Roasted Dandelion Root
1 TBS Roasted Chicory Root
1 TBS Carob Powder
1 Date, Pitted
3 Cups of Water
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, strain and serve.